UN Report: Cutting Off Nose to Spite the Face?

"The UN report is largely for the global level investors. We need to respond through our global investments for our work to be valuable to all. We owe that to Sri Lanka and the World. If we do it through our Natural-selves, in our Natural environments, it is guaranteed to be valuable to all."
by Gaja Lakshmi Paramasivam

(April 20, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) I keep thinking about the leaked UN Report on Sri Lanka and I compare with Wikileaks. In both instances the information does not come through Due Official Processes but only the final ‘outcomes’ have been taken out for discussion, acceptance or rejection. It has been stated in ‘The Island’ newspaper that UN deputy spokesman Mr. Farhan Haq had said ‘Whenever we share a communication with a member state there is an understanding that it will not be leaked’. I appreciate this very much because to me following Due Process means integration rather than assimilation.

Integration and assimilation are important paths especially for us migrants. Appreciating the difference would help leaders of multicultural societies. To me, integration involves maintaining our special identity from the roots and at the same time feeling part of common society. Assimilation on the other hand is to lose that special identity to look like majority. I feel that it is the special duty of minorities to protect their special identity at the root level. That is needed to strengthen our investment in Equal Opportunity system which is an essential part of Democracy. To me, that is also the value of any report of current International standards. Those who have invested in Democracy are more likely to produce reports that would reflect their own democratic values, as opposed to those who are yet to invest in democracy through regular work. The problem in dealing with the UN report at ‘what happened’ level is the same as assimilation.

Mr. Dayan Jayatilleke, in his article ‘Detective Dee & The Mystery Of The Panel Report’ published in Sri Lanka Guardian highlights the need to ‘protect’ the ‘system’ from being damaged through punishment of individuals. This has been my concern too. Unless we ask ourselves what we would have done under the circumstances, we are likely to damage the ‘system’ and ‘positions’ when we smell victory or fear defeat. Mr. Rajapakse ought to have in his mind, sought and found a Tamil leader equal to himself and done what that leader would have done and no more to punish Tamil only rebels. Likewise, Tamil leaders need to think they are the presidents of Sri Lanka and ask themselves what they would have done in Mr. Rajapakse’s shoes? The way we are going now, we seem to be cutting off our nose to spite our face.

What we would do in the shoes of the leader with Responsibility to Act – would depend on our previous investment in the issue, system and/or positions. When acting on behalf of a community or country, we need to consciously set aside our investment in particular personalities unless those personalities have transcended the highest position of their community or country through true service. To my mind we invest at three levels:

(1) Physical level through express actions
(2) Truth that is a part of us. What happened becomes Truth when we feel it happened to us
(3) The Guna/Quality that connects the above two.

The greater the Truth component – the stronger the Guna and hence it is an ‘internal’ issue – which entitles the leaders to deal with it internally – using the authority of Sovereignty. Truth is the only authority of Sovereignty.

The greater the ‘what happened’ component – the weaker the Guna supporting the happening and interpreting that happening and hence it is external which needs to be dealt with at a level visible to all investors. Hence the need for Objectivity.

The way we respond depends on the level at which our investment is within us. As Lord Krishna says about God within – Truth within in our hearts responds to our calls immediately. We need to have taken our investments to this deepest level until there is no ‘us and them’ between the issue and us. Lives lost is a good indicator of what happened. The real value of these lives lost depends on why the person came to be at that place at that time. The life of someone who believes s/he is fighting for independence is far more valuable than one who is merely executing the external actions to satisfy her/his supervisors. Damage to true investment could happen without loss of life and that damage has far deeper value than lives lost accidentally. This is why Lord Krishna says to Prince Arjuna to do his duty and fight against his own gurus and family elders – but to do so to uphold Dharma and not to win. We need to likewise use the UN report to uphold Dharma and not towards wins and defeats which when taken without the roots would keep us trapped in the cycle of revenge. That’s when we become the media of bigger players of the revenge game.

When we take the value of our elders and/or all parts of the community / nation, we integrate. This becomes possible when we identify with the Truth of these elders/various parts. We then do not recognize ‘what happened’ in the past and/or in other parts but use only what happened here and now on the basis of Truth known through those other experiences. To the extent we use what happened to understand and accept – we run the risk of assimilation. Assimilation leads to separation when one is displaced from the physical home – where it all happened – even if such separation is voluntary. We then gradually lose the connection to our roots – a risk that migrants without deep need expose themselves to.

The UN report is largely for the global level investors. We need to respond through our global investments for our work to be valuable to all. We owe that to Sri Lanka and the World. If we do it through our Natural-selves, in our Natural environments, it is guaranteed to be valuable to all. Those who are yet to invest at the deepest level of global systems and values, need to consciously apply Due Processes or limit their natural expressions to their local environments for local purposes – even if they were officially part of the UN. Let’s seek and find integrators. Even if we find One – we have found All at that level. The outcome then is Unity of Mind and Purpose. At the wider levels there may not be any. Jehan Perera expresses concern that we may not achieve ‘reconciliation’ during our generation. Reconciliation is required only when external agreement is important to us. To me, even if we integrate with One person (for which we do not need to reconcile but could choose to remain diverse) we have achieved the ultimate goal. We as individuals need to integrate. The rest is bonus.

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